The current plan for the Tokyo-Nagoya maglev route, currently under construction, calls for Central Japan Railway Co. to begin operations by around 2027. The route will slash a trip between Nagoya and Shinagawa, which takes about 90 minutes on the fastest bullet trains today, to just 40 minutes.

But that date is now in jeopardy after Shizuoka Prefecture, citing concerns about maglev construction drying up a river in the prefecture, announced it would not grant approval for construction of a tunnel.

At a news conference in Osaka earlier this week, Central Japan Railway Co. President Shin Kaneko said the controversy in Shizuoka could impact the schedule for completing the Tokyo-to-Nagoya maglev route and that, in turn, would possibly impact the schedule for completing the entire Tokyo-to-Osaka route.